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A World Both Magical and Mundane, December 7, 2015
Arcane Intern (Unpaid) is an unapologetic homage to the Harry Potter generation, but it's more than fanfic. Rather, it's a response to the Harry Pottery generation in the same way as Lev Grossman's The Magicians -- a story that will resonate with anyone who grew up with the books, but which contains a rich magical world all its own.
I'm a sucker for stories where the magical and mundane collide, and they do so beautifully in Arcane Intern. The story is pretty simple: After many fruitless attempts to break into the publishing business, you finally land an unpaid internship...at a very strange publishing house. Instead of an ID card, you receive a sigil, and with it the ability to see the magic that had previously been hidden from your mundane eyes.
The game follows you through your various internship tasks, which are simultaneously very dull -- taking coffee orders, finding office supplies, making copies -- but also fascinating thanks to their magical embellishments.
It's the kind of premise that you'll either find charming or not -- and in my case, I thought it was delightful.